It occurred to me as I watched everyone stock up for Cinco de Mayo this year that canned refried beans are kind of bland and unexciting, yet we keep buying them. They’re so easy to make, I don’t understand why more people don’t just put in the small amount of effort. Refried beans should be flavorful and delicious, not just a mundane paste that we add to burritos.
Alex and I spent a day in Cozumel on our honeymoon and I loved how much lime juice was added to the food that we ate. I’m a huge fan of acidity in my food so I make sure to add it to my refried beans. Not only does it add its own flavor, but it also brings out the flavor of the spices.
When you make refried beans, you want to make sure that everything is diced very small so that it mashes easily and combines well. If you want to make these even better, add some cheese and scallions when they’re finished. It makes them so good that they don’t last very long in our house. These are delicious in burritos, smeared on a tortilla as a snack, or with huevos rancheros for breakfast.
makes 2 cups
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 medium jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, finely diced
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
Chopped scallions for topping (optional)
Shredded cheddar for topping (optional)
Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeno and saute for one minute more. Add the pinto beans, broth, lime juice, and spices. Cook for 5 minutes. Use a potato masher to roughly mash the beans. Stir and cook for one more minute. Transfer to a serving dish, top with scallions and cheddar if you’d like, and serve hot.